HR · 12 September 2017

The most important deal breakers for job-seeking professionals

Job recruiting recruitment by employment company. Candidate is happy being chosen by business employer.
A third of UK workers would stay at a company for five years without a promotion

When it comes to accepting a new job offer, money on the table appears to trump the prestige of a more senior job title, as new findings indicate what UK professionals most look for when job-seeking.

In a nationwide survey of British workers, job site CV Library asked 1,200 professionals which factors were most likely to determine whether they accepted a job offer or not.

Although two-thirds of respondents agreed a job title was important, they were unable to prioritise a more senior position over cold hard cash.

Biggest deal breakers for job-seeking professionals

  1. Salary (32 per cent)
  1. Daily responsibilities (27.4 per cent)
  1. The company (23.7 per cent)
  1. Location of the job (12.7 per cent)
  1. Job title (2.6 per cent)
  1. Added perks (1.5 per cent)

While salary took the most votes overall, a further breakdown of the findings uncovered subtle differences in the priorities of job-seeking Brits.

Money on the table was the most important factor for workers aged 35 to 44 years old, while the 45 to 54-year old bracket was most concerned with the company they would be working for.

The offer of workplace perks saw the greatest diversity in opinions. With just 1.5 per cent of all job seekers hunting additional benefits, over one in ten young workers aged 18 and under said it was the most important element.

Commenting on the research, CV Library founder Lee Biggins said the prestige of a strong job title was not always enough to attract or retain staff as a business owner.

“We all have different priorities in the workplace and a promotion isn’t always one of them,” Biggins said.

“Money continues to be a key driver for workers and can often be a deciding factor in whether to move jobs or not. What’s more, the actual job in question is extremely important and you do actually have to like what you’re doing.”

He added: “It’s important to talk through priorities with employees and potential candidates – both in terms of financials and their own development.”

Further research revealed workers were more likely to wait for a promotion at their current role than seek a higher position at a new job.

Some 85.1 per cent of UK workers expected to receive a promotion at “random” points of their employment, strong performance permitting, while a third stay in a company for over five years without a promotion.

Over a third of job-seekers would be more likely to accept an offer if it contained “manager” in the title, rising to 54.8 per cent amongst 18-24 year olds.

Biggins added: “It’s clear that many workers in the UK are happy to move forward in their employment without a promotion and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“Working hard doesn’t always have to result in a change in your job title, but as long as they’re being rewarding for their hard work in other ways, such as pay rises, extra perks or more holiday days, then that’s the most important factor.”

Our three-part guide to recruiting your first member of staff is essential reading for first-time hirers

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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